In terms of architecture the village of Panozero is the best preserved settlement of the White Sea (Viena) Karelia. Besides, it is the last indigenously Karelian village in the region of Kem. The village of Panozero is remarkable not only due to its architecture, but also because of the traditions in spoken and applied arts, since right here throughout many centuries a peculiar bridge was built between the Karelian and Russian cultures. As a result, the Karelian inhabitants of the village were practically bilingual due to close contacts with the coastline of the White Sea.
The village became famous due to the threat of submersion because of a water power plant construction; it was included in the List of World Heritage in Danger by the World Monuments Watch Foundation — at first in time period between 1996 and 2001 and later twice more. Later the renovation was started, but in 2006 the village of Panozero received an award from the organisation Europa Nostra as a form of highest recognition for the work done in preservation of cultural heritage and environment of Europe.
The visitors of Panozero have an opportunity to plunge into the traditional life of locals and experience the whole range of impressions, while seeing a wonderful museum, among others. Several craftsmen are working in the village, and they offer an opportunity to purchase the mats, embroideries, etc, as well as the souvenirs made by the children. At the pottery ceramic vessels are made for the household use and sale. The local craftsmen have set up the manufacture of wooden boats, as well as construction of turnkey black saunas.
NB! We recommend you to read these pages beforehand because the network connection doesn't work properly in Panozero.
You can access Panozero by car from two directions — west and east. It would be easier for any foreigners to go to Finland first and then travel to Kajaani by aeroplane, train or car. There is the beginning of Ontrei Malinen’s route (www.ontrei.fi), leading through Sotkamo and Kuhmo, then across the border crossing point Vartius-Lyttä into the territory of the Republic of Karelia